Foothills Trail Bad Creek Access to Rocky Bottom

Salem, South Carolina

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3 Reviews
4 out of 5
This is one long and spectacular section of trail. It is hard to find 30 miles of trail in the East without crossing a major road, but the Foothills Trail delivers. It occasionally passes by normally gated gravel roads on state lands, but hikers can’t count on finding them in the maze of gravel roads or on finding them open. Leave the lower Whitewater Gorge to pass the side trail to Lower Whitewater Falls, then travel east into an area known as the Jocassee Gorges. The remote Thompson River is the first beautiful body of water visited. This is where a boat shuttle can divide this section. Next come the surprisingly tough Cat Stairs and pretty Rock Creek. Twist and turn amid a labyrinth of old timber roads to reach Laurel Fork Creek, which has waterfalls and good campsites. Savor this slice of the Foothills Trail. The numerous creeks and rivers will entice you to camp along them, not only for the natural beauty and good campsites, but also for the trout and smallmouth-bass fishing. The potential for a boat shuttle adds a planning twist for section trail-trompers.

Foothills Trail: Bad Creek Access to Rocky Bottom Professional Review and Guide

"This is one long and spectacular section of trail. It is hard to find 30 miles of trail in the East without crossing a major road, but the Foothills Trail delivers. It occasionally passes by normally gated gravel roads on state lands, but hikers can’t count on finding them in the maze of gravel roads or on finding them open. Leave the lower Whitewater Gorge to pass the side trail to Lower Whitewater Falls, then travel east into an area known as the Jocassee Gorges.

The remote Thompson River is the first beautiful body of water visited. This is where a boat shuttle can divide this section. Next come the surprisingly tough Cat Stairs and pretty Rock Creek. Twist and turn amid a labyrinth of old timber roads to reach Laurel Fork Creek, which has waterfalls and good campsites. Savor this slice of the Foothills Trail. The numerous creeks and rivers will entice you to camp along them, not only for the natural beauty and good campsites, but also for the trout and smallmouth-bass fishing. The potential for a boat shuttle adds a planning twist for section trail-trompers."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Salem
Distance: 30.3
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Season: Year-round; best during spring, early summer and fall
Trailhead Elevation: 2,000 feet
Top Elevation: 2,450 feet
Driving Directions: Directions to Foothills Trail: Bad Creek Access to Rocky Bottom

Recent Trail Reviews

9/21/2007
0

I did this section of trail East to West and I had a wonderful time. It took me three days, and I started at the top of Sassafras Mt.(which is a little further east from Rocky Bottom) and ended my 36 mile journey at Bad Creek Res. Parking Area. This is a really safe place to park your car, and it is never too crowded. It links up to a spur trail that is .5 miles from the Foothills trail. As for the trail conditions, the weather was beautiful, the forest was gorgeous, and the trail was EXTREMELY well maintained. There were amazing campsites every 2-5 miles, and plenty of places to refill your water. Duke Power company has spent a lot of money on this trail, and it shows. Every stream has a bridge, and every steep climb has stairs built in. It is actually quite amazing that they were able to put up so many over-engineered bridges in a place so remote. In fact, the only reason I gave this trail a four star rating as opposed to a five, is the fact that I personally prefer a little more danger and excitement when I go on a back country journey. This trail is impossible to get lost on, and you don't have to do any dangerous river crossings. The stairs actually make the climbing a little more difficult because you have to match your stride to the distance of the stair sections, and it puts more strain on your already overworked leg muscles. But alas, the trail was awesome and not too crowded (though we did run into some people while we were there). If I had to do it again, I would have left myself some more time to explore the side trails to see all the waterfalls, and also to do some fishing. I would highly recommend this trail to anyone, but especially to those who are nervous about getting lost, or don't like to get their feet wet :)


9/11/2004
0

10/18/2003
0

I'm only able to rate about four miles of this trail, because we started at an access trail in the upper whitewater portion in N.C. The first 2 miles were a narrow,steep and rocky billy goat trail. Now here's the important info: eventhough the signs at bad creek hydro gate say no overnight parking, I talked to an employee, and he said that you can, and they don't enforce the no parking. So that said, once we got to the bad creek access, the trail was wide and and well marked and maintained. Stash your packs and take the 2.5 r/t to lower whitewater falls. It's fantastic. Plenty of water everywhere, all streams were bridged. We're going back in the spring and park at the parking area this time, and avoid the billy goat trail and try to get to the horsepasture river. This whole area is very beautiful. You won't be disappionted. P.S. upper whitewater falls is also spectacular.



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May 2018